How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33942
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
13262538
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
Clare is online now

Do grandparents have any legal rights to see or visit grandchildren

Resolved Question:

My daughter and her husband are going through a legal separation She has been so ill she has been unable to fully look after the children,but has improved so has them fairly regularly as her husband works shifts. Because of her OCD we have not been allowed to visit them. If I approach her husband and ask to see them when they are with him, she would see this as a betrayal. What can we do ?.

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
How old are the children and who do they actually live with?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi There,


Since last September the children have lived with their dad in the family home. Originally in Dec 2013, he was ordered to leave as he had become physically abusive, so my daughter struggled on with her severe illness to try and cope with looking after the children. I and other family members had the children from time to time. They were never in school on time as she used to stay up all night cleaning endlessly, so at one stage school and social services were involved. They are 8yrs and 5yrs. She finally crashed and had a week in hospital, while I helped her hubby with the children and cleaned the house etc. He moved back in and refused her access. She stayed with friends local to her home and they staggered towards a kind of truce, where after 5 months she rented a house and he sends the children to her most weeks as he works complicated shifts as an airport airline controller. The agreement is not yet legal- but she has set in motion a separation via her solicitor. For months he gave her no money, but is now contributing some towards her rent and she is being given legal advice re this. However, she is still far from well She is very afraid of pollutants, so if one has been near petrol (or a dog in our case) she cannot cope.


At Christmas, this year she finally agreed to come to us to stay with the children for a week or so, inspite of the dog, who she grew up with, but I have not seen them since. I ring and chat and send gifts and have paid for her solicitor, but when asked if I can pop over to bring holiday gifts she has asked me to buy them, she can't cope with the idea. She cannot handle anything through the post, or anything anyone else has washed in their machine, or clothes bought in a shop where there is food sold e.g. Sainsburys. So their Easter eggs are still sitting here.


 


For the first time in 8 years I was unable to go over for my grandsons


birthday party this week as she sees us as polluted. ( I should add that we live in an immaculate house in Parkstone Poole, which is far from polluted!) This mental illness is crippling.


 


My only option would be to ask my son n law if I could see them when they are with him, but she would see this as a betrayal, as she intends in the long term to sue for full custody of the children via divorce and to this end is desperate to prove she can now cope alone. If I mention to him that she is not allowing us access, he has further evidence against her.


 


I am broken hearted, as we have done so much for her and the children emotionally and financially till now and am at a loss as to any rights I have to see them.


I hope this gives you a fuller picture


 

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
What activities do the children do?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Grandson goes to football training on Sats am and sometimes plays in little league on Sunday am. They attend church Sundays most weeks, Grandaughter does ballet Sat am. Otherwise its the usual school events and trips or birthday parties/ playing with friends, My husband and I have taken them sailing and they used to go swimming. Dad takes them camping.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Grandson goes to football training on Sats am and sometimes plays in little league on Sunday am. They attend church Sundays most weeks, Grandaughter does ballet Sat am. Otherwise its the usual school events and trips or birthday parties/ playing with friends, My husband and I have taken them sailing and they used to go swimming. Dad takes them camping.
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Would your daughter cope if you saw the children at one of those activities?
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
HI Clare
I have suggested meeting up with them in the local garden centre ( where she likes to take the children ) in order to just have an ice cream and give them their holiday gifts or see them for half an hour, but she just prevaricates and says she needs more time and some time in the future she may be able to bring herself to arrange this . This avoidance has gone on for 6 months. She says she knows it's because she's ill. I'm at a loss what to do. The children must think I've just disappeared out of their lives
Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
HI
If you chose to take action I am certain that you will be able to obtain an Order which will allow you contact with the children
Although grand parents have no automatic right to contact the priority for the court is the needs of the children - and since they have an existing relationship with you it is likely that any court application would be successful
However rather than going through the court process your starting point is to speak to their father and see if anything can be arranged via him.
This will be much less traumatic than going through the court process.
As a starting point you could ask to discuss matters with both parents using Family mediation (www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk)
I am sorry as I know that this news makes things no easier for you - please ask if you need further details
Clare
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,
Thank you for your advice. I may have to approach their dad.

As far as mediation goes their dad refused to attend mediation as it involved his paying a fee, whereas it was free for my daughter. He even refused to attend a mediation session after advised to do so by a family court judge and social services! He has not made things at all easy for my daughter but her illness makes life difficult for us all.

I do not wish to go to court but at least I now know its possible if things continue like this in the long term. Meanwhile I will try dad - I think he may agree to our meeting up as. I have always been very fair to him and not taken sides in their arguments

thanks again

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi Clare,
Thank you for your advice. I may have to approach their dad.

As far as mediation goes their dad refused to attend mediation as it involved his paying a fee, whereas it was free for my daughter. He even refused to attend a mediation session after advised to do so by a family court judge and social services! He has not made things at all easy for my daughter but her illness makes life difficult for us all.

I do not wish to go to court but at least I now know its possible if things continue like this in the long term. Meanwhile I will try dad - I think he may agree to our meeting up as. I have always been very fair to him and not taken sides in their arguments

thanks again

Expert:  Clare replied 2 years ago.
Hi
You are most welcome - i cannot imagine how difficult it must be for you
Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33942
Experience: I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Kasare

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    204
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    204
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/TG/TGraham12/2012-7-17_81212_bigstockBusinessHandshake508163.64x64.jpg Thomas's Avatar

    Thomas

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    164
    UK solicitor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    7
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    340
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/GL/Glossolicitor/2013-5-14_214834_TWMParkinsonWright.64x64.jpg Glos solicitor's Avatar

    Glos solicitor

    Family Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    2
    10 years experience in all areas of family law, now specialising in cases involving social services and children
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CL/clairep80/2013-8-25_191218_dreamstimexs267279822nd.64x64.jpg Clare's Avatar

    Clare

    Family Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    4742
    I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HH/hhlaw/2015-12-8_22495_unnamedlanczosbicubic.64x64.jpg Harris's Avatar

    Harris

    Family Law Expert

    Satisfied Customers:

    1351
    Family Law - Specialist in Divorce, Financial Relief and Children Matters